A Study Of The Training Of Secondary School Teachers At Njala University College In Sierra Leone

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


James Collins


Teacher education, Professional development, Sierra Leone, Perceptions, Teaching skills, Curriculum

Subject Categories



Statement of Problem. Njala University College (N.U.C.) was established in 1964. From its beginning, it has been training teachers that have changed the quality of teaching in secondary schools in Sierra Leone. Well trained, education degree-holding teachers in schools are considered the ideal teachers in the educational system of Sierra Leone.

The purpose of the present study was to examine the views/perceptions of the graduating education students, of the graduates of N.U.C. who were teaching in secondary schools and their supervisors, the principals of secondary schools, as to the adequacy of teacher training at N.U.C., and to assess the inservice needs of the graduates.

Procedures. First, a background study of Sierra Leone's educational system and a history of the Njala University College (1964-1983) was completed. Data for this study were secured from the college prospectus (catalog), documents from the Ministry of Education and the libraries of Njala University, the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Secondly, questionnaires designed by the researcher were sent to Sierra Leone where they were administered to the three groups of subjects mentioned.

Findings and Conclusions. Both the seniors and teachers thought the content, teaching skills and teaching practice offered at the college were relevant to the job of the beginning teacher. The seniors, however, recommended the following: Regarding teaching practice, the length of time should be extended to two terms, and the professors should increase their supervision. Regarding teaching skills, it was suggested that more emphasis be placed on teaching methods, micro-teaching and audio-visual aids.

Recommendations. For the purpose of program improvement, recommendations included: more emphasis on developing specific teaching methods courses for all subject areas; extending teaching practice to two terms; training cooperating teachers; creating an audio-visual aids course; and that University officials establish a continuous plan for evaluating the N.U.C. teacher education program and graduates to maintain program adequacy for the changing needs of the schools, and nation as a whole. Regarding inservice education programs, it was recommended by a majority of teachers that nationally run inservice education programs should be held more frequently for mathematics and science teachers since most of these teachers are not professionally trained as teachers.

The principals recommended that all inservice education workshops held for secondary school teachers should include the training of skills in discipline, problem solving methods, academic advisement, guidance and counseling, behavior modification techniques, human relations and techniques for producing audio-visual aids from local materials.


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